Since the opening of The St. Regis Lhasa Tibet in November, 2010, it has received significant attention for its original architectural design that merges traditional Tibetan elements with signature St. Regis amenities into a luxury hotel literally on top of the world.

At 12,000 feet above sea level, it is one of the highest luxury hotels in the world, with unimpeded views of the Himalayas and Lhasa Valley. The resort was designed from the ground up with sustainable features including solar panels, locally-sourced produce and herbs for the resort’s three signature restaurants, as well as an underground water recycling system.

The eight-acre-resort complex is inspired by the nearby world-famous Sera Monastery, built in 1419, a place of great architectural and spiritual significance to this region.

Similar to the natural beauty of the surrounding Himalayas, the resort is surrounded on all sides by high pale gray walls made from stone, and landscaped with poplar and willow trees. The buildings have exteriors of stone with dark shale/tile pagoda-style roofs, an homage to the ancient Buddhist culture that surrounds the resort. There are three main complexes with buildings that house 150 guest rooms, 12 villas and suites, and a Presidential Suite. In addition, the resort features The Decanter Wine Bar and The Iridium Spa.

The Iridium Spa, the world’s highest ( in altitude) luxury spa. The design highlight of the 11,700 sq.ft. spa is the Iridium Room, featuring an ornate gold-tiled pool guarded by an elaborate black and white Sea Serpent. The spa includes traditional Tibetan herbal treatments and aromatherapy services using locally cultivated cypress and azalea leaves. The spa has been designed for guests to enjoy individual personal treatment suites with a private showers. The spa also features a Meditation Garden where local practitioners teach yoga, Pilates and meditation.

The St. Regis Lhasa lies within walking distance of the ancient Barhkor area, a shopping area offering prayer wheels, long-sleeve ‘chubas’, or, Tibetan traditional clothes, and Tibetan ‘Thangkas’ – Tibetan scroll paintings. And, the St. Regis is also a short walk from the Jokhang Temple, one of the holiest sites in Tibetan Buddhism. It hosts the annual Great Prayer Festival, as well as all ceremonies of initiation for the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lamas. Resort guests may also rent a hybrid vehicle for a short drive to the Potala Palace, as well as Norbulingka , the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama, and the Drepung Monastery. Other scenic Himalayan destinations – the Heavenly Lake Namtso and Yandra Yumtso Lake – are also nearby.

This place just looks amazing. It would really help if I had a little more cash in my pocket…

via Luxist.

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